My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas
visors, not face-concealing ones.
My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed,
not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
The artefact which is the source of my power will not be kept
on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded
by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box.
The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.
I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing
When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before
you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?"
I'll say, "No" and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot
him then say "No".
After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately
in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks
time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried
I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely
necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button
labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do
Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone
stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch
will not clearly be labelled as such.
I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum - a
small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel
no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles
or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.
One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child.
Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected
All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several
rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at
the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as
well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until
after the aforementioned disposal.
The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette,
or any other form of last request.
I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If
I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will
set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero
is just putting his plan into operation.
I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's
just one thing I want to know."
When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen
to their advice.
I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned
attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a
fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.
I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she
was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and
she'd betray her own father.
Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge
in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss
unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could
adjust to accordingly.
I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original
uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap
knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman
footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated
and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.
No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power,
I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.
I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my
troops in their use. That way -- even if the heroes manage to
neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue
energy weapons useless -- my troops will not be overrun by a
handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.
I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and
weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the
job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be!
I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)
No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct
any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except
for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.
No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are,
there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate
to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a
prisoner sent to my bedchamber.
I will never build only one of anything important. All important
systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies.
For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded
weapons at all times.
My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it
cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.
I will dress in bright and cheery colours, and so throw my
enemies into confusion.
All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and
cowardly thieves in the land will be pre-emptively put to death.
My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they
have no source of comic relief.
All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced
with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected
reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.
I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings
me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers
are hard to come by.
I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization
to wear a stainless-steel brassiere. Morale is better with a
more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from
black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.
I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.
I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look
diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member
of Generation X.
I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell
block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners,
I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead
of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.
If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are
losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he's my trusted
If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring
anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately,
instead of waiting for them to grow up harbouring feelings of
vengeance towards me in my old age.
If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not
ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek
out my opposite number among his army.
I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable
super-weapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible
instead of keeping it in reserve.
Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel
When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog,
monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable
of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.
I will maintain a healthy amount of scepticism when I capture
the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power
and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just
let her in on my plans.
I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those
who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do stupid things
like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.
I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible
for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws
up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here
is the price for failure," then suddenly turn and kill some
If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What
can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This", and kill the
If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy
me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead
of waiting for him to mature.
I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology
with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken,
it will not immediately come after me for revenge.
If I learn the whereabouts of the one artefact which can destroy
me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I
will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a
Want-Ad in the local paper.
My main computers will have their own special operating system
that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh
If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over
the conditions in the beautiful princess's cell, I will immediately
transfer him to a less people-orientated position.
I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors
to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and
abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.
If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry
you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well"
and kill her.
I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt
to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.
The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their
place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out
on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety,
I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who
would attract less attention.
My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship.
Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters
will be used for target practice.
Before employing any captured artefacts or machinery, I will
carefully read the owner's manual.
If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose
dramatically and toss off a one-liner.
I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.
My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher
any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under
30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to
If my advisors ask "Why are you risking everything on such
a mad scheme?", I will not proceed until I have a response that
I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding
structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a
Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors.
And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about
flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.
I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely
unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove
to be a disadvantage.
If I must have computer systems with publicly available terminals,
the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly
marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution
Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage
My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner.
Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts
the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by
repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.
No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards
will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction
as a full-scale emergency.
I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past.
This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However,
the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them
again, they'd better save my life again.
All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will
be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed
in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by
creatures of the wild.
When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will
always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained
so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol,
the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup,
instead of quizzically peering around a corner.
If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see if he/she
should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad
of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.
If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device
and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon
instead of using my unstoppable super-weapon on them.
I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged
contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible
for them to win.
When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed
so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details,
I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying
on top of my desk.
I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en
masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break
off and attack one or two at a time.
If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him
and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge.
I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle
of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth
If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the
hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutenant, I
will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant
is out of earshot before making the offer.
I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must be taken
alive!" The command will be "And try to take him alive if it
is reasonably practical."
If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch,
as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made
into limited-edition commemorative coins.
If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send
out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively
stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.
If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have
disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances
behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically
turning around to find out what he saw.
I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing
in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous,
If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet,
then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new
drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or
not to switch with him.
I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the
I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly
complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred
altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse."
Instead it will be more along the lines of "push the button".
I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and
My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in
use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.
If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not
berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to
try the task again.
After I captures the hero's super-weapon, I will not immediately
disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever
holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the
weapon and I took it from him.
I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation
is facing away from the door.
I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted
and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current
entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.
If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him.
Instead I will say this his dogged perseverance has given me
new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves
me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely
return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly
gullible in this regard.)
If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling
who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is
scheduled to go first.
When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to
stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.
My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete
with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his
cellmate tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch
a trauma team instead of opening up the cell for a look.
My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control
panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control
panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.
My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain
reflective surfaces or anything that can be unravelled.
If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully
monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate,
I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them
together against their will and they spend all their time bickering
and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions
when they are saving each others' lives at which point there
are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their
Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb
Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless
trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet